Mar 8, 2021

Making reading fun amidst COVID19.

This year, we decided to take a community oriented approach to reach children in
the rural areas because of COVID19 induced school closures which continues to
place the majority of children at home, and in most cases not learning at all.


We are working with our last mile partners and have so far visited communities in
Kisindizi, Mubende District; Kabembe and Kisoga in Mukono District.


We started off in Kisindizi Village, Mubende district holding a community reading day
and parents talk. An energised enjuba team of 7 set off from the capital city,
Kampala at 6am to Kisindizi village on the 28th of January. On our arrival, we found 
a number of children with overwhelming smiles on their faces seated on benches
waiting to see what the day had for them. The team went ahead to introduce
themselves to the little ones as well as the parents that had come along. We then
separated the children from the parents and further into small groups according to
their age and class. The program had a lot of fun learning activities for the children
and engaging conversations for the parents. Among the learning activities we had
the Bingo game, Spelling race and finally a Read aloud session. At the end of the
day, each child was given a storybook of their own – to many their very first story
book (82% had never owned a story book), so that they can continue to read at
home and share with their friends.


While all this was going, one of the team members took lead on the parents, talking
with them about how they can nurture meaningful relationships and environments at
home that promote healthy child development and encourage their children to learn.
The parents were also gifted with parenting books (Parenting with Love) and Health
books (Where there is no Doctor).


This was repeated in the following two villages of Kisoga and Kabembe, and
specifically in Kisoga, the children also got a chance to receive solar lamps, thanks
to our partners, Solar Health Uganda and Let There Be Light International.


Through these 3 events we have been able to circulate 356 books to both children
and parents, 200 solar lamps, enabling children and households have access to
books and solar lamps. This has put smiles to children’s faces and given them hope
to for a brighter future.

Nov 6, 2020

Books bring hope, excitement amidst COVID19.

It is 6am and we are on the road to beat the traffic. We are heading to Namayumba, just out of Uganda’s capital Kampala, to read with children, chat with parents about parenting and distribute solar lamps – thanks to your generous contributions.

COVID19 and its restrictions continue to bite hard. Transport and gatherings up to 70 people have now been allowed, as long as people follow the ministry of health guidelines. We are expecting to meet a total of 100 households in 4 villages, 25 in each. We have asked the local authorities to mobilize for us, asking each household to send children and at least 1 parent. Schools have just opened for final year students, while the rest of the children stay home, mostly redundant. Efforts for continued learning are impeded by limited access to internet, radio and television as we get to learn, because in this particular community, there is no electricity. 

In all four villages, we found the children and their parents already gathered, waiting eagerly for what their visitors have in store for them. When it was announced that that we had brought some books for the children and solar lamps, they broke out in ululations and could not hide their excitement. We opened our boxes, separated the children from their parents and started our reading sessions. At the end of each session, we donated the books and solar lamps to children, so they can continue to read and enjoy the stories at home, even at night, using their newly acquired solar lamps. The parents on the other side received parenting books (Parenting with Love) and health books (Where there is no Doctor) for their households.

By the time we were done with the third village, we had served 100 households already. So we ended up serving over 150 households with books and 100 with solar lamps, helping the children, most of whom had resorted to just loitering around the village or doing betty jobs with books that they can read and enjoy as they wait for schools to open. Parents expressed their gratitude towards this effort and we hopeful that their children will not lose out completely because of COVID19.

Jun 17, 2020

Education in a Crisis

The world is awash with news about COVID19. 8 million people have been infected and over 400,000 died. In the midst of this crisis, education has been hit most. Over 1billion children world over are at home because schools are closed. The rich has transitioned to online learning, the poor kids are in the farm, or just playing up and about. The COVID19 crisis is exacerbating the problems of education inequality.

By the time the crisis hit Uganda we had just completed a book giving campaign in Eastern Uganda on the borders of Uganda and Kenya. There we continued to confirm the inequality in education. For many of the children, the books we gave them were the first and probably the only books they have ever owned. Lucky enough they went into lockdown with at least a book in hand they can call their own to read. The visit to Namisindwa district also continued to paint a dire picture of how children are learning with several being unable to read and comprehend.

These situations cement our efforts to continue to bridge these learning inequalities and help learners become better.

During the situation when we were on lockdown, to continue to support learning and reading, we shared lots of information relating to how parents can keep their children learning, we conducted a reading challenge and had parents record their children reading, and we shared those videos with others to encourage the culture of reading, and as a reward, we gifted every child who participated in that with a book. Thanks to your continued support.

The lockdown has been eased a bit in Uganda, and with that we would like to continue to support more children with reading. You can help us to get a book to a child. Your tax-deductible gift of $30 gives 10 books to 10 children, and they are able to even share with their friends in the communities where they live.

Thank you very much for your continued help.

 
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